By Dana Simmons, American Red Cross
The American Red Cross helps communities prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters. Within the past year, our local Red Cross team has provided a breadth of our services to the Butterfield Manufactured Home and RV Community.
Southern Fire Response – May 2021
On May 11, 2021, the Southern Fire broke out in an unincorporated area of San Diego County southeast of Julian affecting the Butterfield Community. The Red Cross was there to bring help and hope by meeting the immediate needs of those evacuated which included emergency lodging in hotels, meals and snacks, health services, disaster mental health services and more. The Red Cross team worked closely with local partners and emergency management officials to coordinate recovery efforts.
Distribution of Emergency Supplies – June 16, 2021
Just over a month after the Butterfield Community was evacuated, they experienced water contamination on June 16, a summer day with temperatures that peaked at 115 degrees Fahrenheit. The San Diego County Office of Emergency Services put in a request for distribution of emergency supplies and within minutes the Red Cross team jumped into action. Volunteers spent the day in the Butterfield community delivering 174 cases of water to 75 homes. “They were really thankful that we were there and that someone was thinking about them,” said Rick Krukowski, Red Cross volunteer.
Supporting a Community Resource Event – July 8, 2021
On July 8, the Red Cross returned to the Butterfield Community to support a community resource event for residents by providing disaster preparedness information, smoke alarm installation appointments and lunch. “It was a one-stop shop and made it easy for residents to get the resources they needed,” Melissa Altman, Red Cross Southern California Region Preparedness Manager.
Hot Shots Installation Event – February 5, 2022
In February 2022, Red Cross volunteers installed smoke alarms and distributed fire safety information to residents in the Butterfield Community. Rick Kruwkowski explained that most of the homes they entered didn’t have alarms. “Every door was knocked on,” Rick said. “There were about 125 units.” By the end of the day, the team had installed 31 smoke alarms, one carbon monoxide alarm and one bed shaker alarm, making 26 homes safer in Butterfield. Volunteers even identified a compromised propane cable in a home, helped the resident turn his propane tank off and installed a carbon monoxide alarm.
From a wildfire response to home fire safety, the Red Cross has supported the Butterfield Community. “It clicks the boxes of the disaster cycle. We have served them through preparedness, response and recovery,” said Melissa. Thank you to our volunteers, staff and community partners for helping serve communities like Butterfield in their time of need!